A new season is about to begin at the Nelson Curling Club. After a week-long open house for newcomers and regular fans of the sport, the club hosted its opening season registration party last Friday. This week league teams start to throw rocks and sweep the ice.
While the adult leagues get underway, two youth programs will begin in November, led by youth director Tracey Mozel, and Bruce and Karen Walgren.
Little Rockers is for ages five to 10. Mozel said the group is casual and informal as it focuses on fun with the game basics.
“They will learn terminology, rules, and some strategy, like coming out of the hack with their head up and in the right direction,” she said, adding they modify the play by throwing part-way down the ice to avoid frustration with the 40-pound rocks.
Mozel also shared some curling trivia. The term hack, the foothold device where the person who throws the rock pushes off for delivery, similar to a starting block in track and field, originated from the days of the sport being played outside on frozen rivers, lakes and ponds where the foot stop needed to be hacked out of the ice.
The hog line on either end of the ice that the rock must pass to remain on the ice comes from Scottish origins of hogg, which is a young sheep generally under one year, that has yet to be sheared. A weak runty throw that does not make it past the near hog line is taken out of play as a runty sheep was removed from the flock.
The juniors are for kids 10 to 18 years. Mozel said they learn a full slide, rules and if they are interested, they can participate in bonspiels and tournaments. Visit nelsoncurling.ca for more info.